America has always been crazy about serial killers. They’re our homegrown werewolves. They click with the fast-food car culture that roars in the country’s busy, busy heart. They fit neatly with our cult-of-celebrity-style national mythology. These beasts that seem like men, mowing through victims like McDonald’s cheeseburgers, speeding for the televised takedown by John Q. […]
Somewhere on the fringe of mainstream film, there’s a frenzied community of artists who illustrate an elemental aspect of crime. They don’t bother with the ticky-tack trivia of the procedural. They don’t focus on the grand fables of revenge and wrongs righted. They have one obsession that strikes closer to the heart of what crime […]
On the occasion of the Emmys’ passing, let’s take a step outside the spotlight. I want to lead you to the fringes for a moment. You need to meet an artist who has yet to hold a gold statue aloft on a high-profile red carpet, but who is brilliant enough to be seen in the […]
What’s the most a criminal’s ever taken from you? Many of you just answered “none” or “not much, but that cell phone had precious memories on it.” Some thought, “my sense of security.” A few of you are still seriously considering a part-time career in vigilantism. But most Americans, deep down, know we’ve been robbed […]
Much like most of the civilized world, I knew what yesterday meant: The premiere of Sons of Anarchy, Season 5. I was pretty jazzed. I would DVR that bad bastard and catch it when convenience struck. Or, if I was too lazy or forgetful to do that, I could snag it On Demand. I wasn’t […]
Take an inside line from a pro marketer: All marketing is a scam. That isn’t to say there’s no truth in advertising. Objective facts have their place. But to some extent, you’ve got to lay on the hype to sell a product. In social networking, hype could be in the form of swagger like Ricky […]
HATFIELDS & MCCOYS: In honor of what looks to be a righteously bad-ass three-part, six-hour miniseries premiering on the History Channel Memorial Day, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, we’re giving you the Big Sandy River dirt.
Crime heroes and villains got it rough. They’re usually up to the gills in trouble and their genre, unlike horror, doesn’t smile on its bad-asses soaking up too many bullets. A fortunate – or unfortunate, if you’re a “the grave’s half empty” kind of person – few manage some superhuman comebacks. Whether by the […]
A perfect crime always has a bit of a prank to it. When you’re breaking the law, you’re duping society, after all. You play a joke on old Lady Justice. The punchline just happens to be a few steamer trunks of bearer bonds or a well-buried corpse. But some crimes take the yukks to the […]
Crime films often make me hungry. Often the restaurant scenes are among the best remembered in crime flicks. The coffee shops and Italian kitchens and juke joints where criminal characters go to grab a bite or do dirt serve to define them. In some cases, it’s because crime films are a sit-down with a distinct […]
They call it American Horror Story. FX Network named it wrong. It’s not particularly American—California is only technically in America. Above all, it’s not really a “horror story” either. Horror generally requires characters you care about. But one thing’s sure about American Horror Story: It is loaded to the gills with nastiness, most of it criminal.
It’s time to spring forward, as the saying goes. What daylight savings actually saves is beyond me. Just another way of making me wake up earlier than sunrise. Twisting time has worked a whole lot better in crime cinema. I’m not talking about the usual flashbacks mysteries throw in to pad their plot and shoehorn […]
*For those who are still jonesing for something to fill the void in their life left by Lost. Just to get past the nagging qualifiers, I’ve been hyping this show since the moment I heard the premise and saw the trailer for it (I won’t post it again here as I have been spamming the Complex […]
Crime films give every genre a run for its money when it comes to getting hardcore. Murder, torture, kidnapping—they have it all and in many cases, they show it all. Even the lion’s share of the horror genre doesn’t hold a candle to scenes like Mr. Blonde getting down with a duct-taped cop and a […]